Hamza bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, the son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has released an audio message threatening to avenge the killing of his father by the United States.
In the 21-minute speech entitled ‘We Are All Osama’, Hamza bin Laden promised to continue the global militant group’s fight against the US and its allies.
“We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression,” SITE Intelligence Group, an organisation that tracks white supremacist and jihadi organisations online, quoted him as saying.
“As for the revenge by the Islamic nation for Sheikh Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, it is not revenge for Osama the person but it is revenge for those who defended Islam.”
Osama bin Laden was killed at his Pakistani hideout by US commandos in 2011, in a major blow to the militant group, which masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In March 2003, it was claimed that Hamza and his brother Saad bin Laden had been wounded and captured in Ribat, Afghanistan, but it turned out to be false.
In a 2005 video titled ‘The Mujahideen of Waziristan’, Hamza was shown participating in an al-Qaeda assault on Pakistani security forces in the south Waziristan tribal region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In September 2007, it was reported that he was again in the tribal belt encompassing the Pakistan/Afghanistan border region taking a senior role with al-Qaeda forces.
Now in his mid-20s, Hamza was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks and spent time with him in Pakistan after the US-led invasion pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.
“Hamza provides a new face for al Qaeda, one that directly connects to the group’s founder. He is an articulate and dangerous enemy,” Bruce Riedel of Brookings said.